Salty ??????

…do you know anything further about the Gladwin Viper…I just spent the best six days of my fifteen year paddling experience…riding waves at Tybee island in a Necky Rip…you get the picture…I must have one in order to go on living.

I was wondering the same thing…
My post from a few weeks ago…

Salty man, I think this thing really needs to be built, don’t know who else to address this to, maybe Santa, doubt he has much pull in the kayak industry, and he never delivered on that mini Bigfoot truck I always asked for as a kid, so I thought I’d ask you…

Was “surfing” the Chatham today, in a spot that required a bit of paddling to access, about half an hour out with some current, and about an hour back, because we were working against the current (not because we missed our exit and were semi-lost in the dark.) Perfect venue for something surf capable, yet can handle the distance to those sweet spots off the beaten path, or even some light touring, like a self supported surfari.

Or a venue similar to today, which might involve an unplanned visit to Ireland if you can’t get back in your boat, because sometimes you miss your roll and swim (my first name is not Nigel.) How do you self rescue a surf boat far from shore on an outgoing tidal current, that has zero flotation except for some float bags stuffed in the rear? Because to “surf” in New England usually requires storms, often times winter storms, and its cold and dark and often scary as hell out there, and a boat with some substance would make me feel better about my chances of unintentionally reuniting with long lost family.

Or a boat for people who don’t want to surf a squirrely little surf boat, but still want to surf, but not the sea kayak special Olympics kind of “surf”. Similar to long boards in philosophy, or those SUP. The marketing guys would jump all over that, tell them its like the kayaking version of SUP. Better yet, let them think they thought of it, they’ll like that even better. Especially if those marketing guys keep connecting the dots and figure a particular generation of paddlers (the ones with money, I’m broke btw) might still want to kayak surf, or learn to kayak surf, but aren’t quite as young as they used to be (I’m speaking for others here, I’m a fetus in the sea kayak world at 36) and would appreciate a sea/surf kayak hybrid that resembles a format they are comfortable with, and more forgiving than some eclectic surf boat no one sells.

Also, it would be the coolest named sea kayak ever!!

Just thought I’d ask, give us the planing hull sea kayak, por favor?



p.s., Please make sure us “husky” paddles can fit in it?

Surf Board Sea Kayak
Most every time I paddle from Harker’s Island to Shackleford Banks the return trip is wind-wave surf time. It’s a lot of fun but it’s a lot of work keeping the boat straight. Would the Viper be less ‘broachy’? I posed the question a while back asking if there was a sea kayak that kicked butt in those conditions and I got no definitive answer. I really wanted to hear 10 people say “It’s boat X!”

A Necky Rip to a (vapor) Viper… Oh yeah, progress… LOL!

Sorry, Salty, after what you had posted, gotta laugh. Endless rambling of kayak fantasies… LOL!


endless boat ramblings
Even though there was an argument made that boats are quite similar, comparing Necky Rip to (vapor) Viper is a bit of stretch :wink:

Anyways, I am glad there is another surf kayaker convert. It is a bit unfortunate that you missed an opportunity to hook up with Nigel Law of Savannah Canoe and Kayak, an avid surf kayaker and hilarious human being. The fact that he has a shop that carries a wonderful collection of surf kayaks is a plus as well. Some of them can even be rented for a day or a week.

Webster’s Definition of “Ironic”.
“see recent Paddling.Net threads”.


How about a “convertible” 2-piece?
I’ve never surfed seriously ocean breaks but the idea appeals to me of a longer kayak capable of also surfing steep ocean break type of waves. The main problem seems length - just can’t maneuver a long kayak like one can a short one. Long boards are a different story - the rider can shift the weight back and forth thus altering the trim hugely. Can’t do that in a long kayak. The effect seems to be that, once the waves get steeper, you can only go in one direction even if the kayak is capable of controlled diagonal runs - as soon as you try to make a bottom turn you dig the nose and either pearl and flip head over heels or broach or some other undesirable effect.

For the nose to not dive and to allow one to make tight turns, the rear needs to be short. Once the kayak picks-up speed enough to plane, it does not need to be of long waterline. But we want a long waterline kayak to get us to the surf spots quickly.

The only way to do that seems to be a “convertible” rear. I think that should be relatively easy to do - just flip the rear 2-3 feet up on a hinge at the upper of the rear deck and secure the tip of the stern down near the rear cockpit rim. Of course, the shape needs to be appropriate so the fold works into a nice buoyant but short rear section.

This will effectively change the trim of the kayak rearward, shorten the waterline, release the stern, and make a 13 footer into something like a 10 footer, which should be much more manageable on the surf.

Chopping off the rear would also allow for a wider, surf-board like planing surface to extend pretty much all the way to the rear. Flipping the rear end down, would again bring buoyancy and length to the stern aiding in tracking and flat water paddling…

How about that?

The Viper
A boat Spike and I talked about for years as a fun alternative to trad touring yaks. Cut a plug a couple years ago based on our theories, and Spike had Larry Sinclair make a boat for me off that cut plug. He then made himself one. It is 14 ft, has the Spyder cockpit ring, and fin boxes, two bulkheads, and two Valley ovals.

I like it! It’s not perfect and I think needs some balancing with the volume, but it’s a fun change from what’s common. A huge paradigm shift for touring and it WORKS! Too big a leap I think to be marketable to the general touring population.

Spike is busy with JOI and I’m not sure he’d have the time to build one, and it would be rough, as it’s R&D tooling at best.

I’m not parting with mine and too busy to mess with it, but I will loan mine to anyone out in the Northwest.

No doubt the peanute gallery is gonna go after me here as I’ve stated in another post I wonder if folk focus on gear too much. I know for me, and I’m pretty sure Spike, this boat was a by-product of general boredom with what’s currently offered. So much good stuff but sorta all the same in many ways. ie…not much new,

This boat was about what we wanted and not part of any commercial deal. We believe that the revolution in WW boats, of which Spike was a huge player, could apply to touring and salt water play boats as well.

This boat proves that at least to us and to me is just a spark to launch many new ideas. But these would be one-offs, for freaks etc.

Email me off-line for more info, etc.

…always appreciate your knowledge and opinion. I’m actually very satisfied with my cuerrent fleet…could even stand to be without a couple of the cobwebbiest of them.

Funny but to me the deck of that kayak looks like the Sun Velocity kayaks. Now watch the the used market for those kayaks start booming! :slight_smile:

How about a Rockhopper?

Never paddled one

– Last Updated: Nov-30-10 10:21 PM EST –

What we did was very different in that it's an entirely surf based hull bow to stern with no compromise. In surf it's just sooo much different than a displacement touring hull. Big fun, but NOT in any way traditional.

What’s ironic?
How is my “wondering” about endless ramblings over essentially the same boats re-designed with a few tweaks inconsistent with a drive to explore new territory and new designs privately? Probably my poor communication skills. BTW, I only responded to the OP and have no real interest in discussing the Vipor here at all in any depth. I have tried to answer questions about design etc for folk but I don’t push kayaks here, never had, never will.

I’d actually encourage some here to design their own boats and test their own thinking.

It’s Not You. It’s Me.
I made a comment in your other thread about a guy who kept working on getting more stuff rather than getting more skills. Then Sing started a thread about cyclists with world class skills… he joked that maybe if I had a bike like they had I could do all of their stunts. The ironic part is that I’m looking for a sea kayak that surfs wind waves better than your average kayak… less fighting with broaching. Sing would surely hold me up to a mirror and yell “Work on your skills!”

Seriously though, would the Viper kick ass at surfing wind waves?

And It Will Still Be A “Compromise…”

– Last Updated: Dec-01-10 6:07 AM EST –

so you got a 16' long planing hull which will still never be as manueverable as the longest, longboard (10' SUP)on a waveface. And, then, as a point A to B boat, the boat is going to be "meandering" for the average day touring paddler who is going to complain how the boat "can't paddle straight!" ;)

There are already "compromise" boats out there. Get a Coaster (or similar) if you're into more paddling with some playing. Go get a rockhopper if you into more playing with some paddling. Compromises.

If you really want to surf (like a boardie), get an IC surf kayak or longboard waveski. If you want to get radical, get a short HP design either surf kayak or waveski. And, if you are really so caught up in (love with) your drysuit (and skirt), then stick to a kayak.

There you have it. My opinion (which is worth more than crap to no one except for myself, aftering going after chasing the golden fleece and then realizing plain plastic is just fine for most of what I do. LOL! )

And the funny thing, if the boat ever were to get made, you'll have folks rambling endlessly about how this positive or negative attribute of the boat when usually most of it is a reflection of that individual's physical traits and skills ((or lack thereof, e.g. oh, how come it's so hard to roll this boat?!?!).

But, without these discussions, where would PNet be? ;)


“if the boat ever gets made”
“if the boat ever gets made”

That comment kills me! I recall several years ago when all the smaller paddlers on this board were lamenting the fact that the Nigel Foster Rumor wasn’t made anymore. “If they we’re still making it I would buy one” was the overall sentiment. Well now that they’re making them people are asking “Well should I try the Avocet LV? Perhaps the smaller Ikumma? What about the Tiderace?”

I guess we always want what we can’t have.

get a pintail…

– Last Updated: Dec-01-10 11:24 AM EST –

hhe..just kidding..lots of fun reading in hear.i read some of the as song titles."Unintended journey to ireland" hehe. We im no expert and im 50. But playing in rough water and wind to the best of my abillities is what i like the most on this planet for the time being. I had a very nice experience with a rm avocet this summer in breaking rollingwaves. I felt i vas very much in control with the avocet. I think the tempest 165 is very nice. its got a really low volume rear, so it "sits " nicely in the foam, if that makes any sence. I tried my old Q512 in quite rouge conditions. Pitch was after that i sold it..
pinny has quite a lot of volume in the front. HE may want to broach but its also very easy to adjust back..
well im propably far from the tread by now..sorry

"What You Can’t Have…"
alright, I want a couple of these please… :wink:


Are you
referring to the caballitos?

Which Is More “Unattainable???”

– Last Updated: Dec-01-10 4:37 PM EST –

That's what I want to ramble on and pine about... :)

I mean, it gets "old" quick once you have it, right? LOL!


PS. Have to ask one of the "standard" PNet questions: "Which is easier to "roll" or "balance brace" on?!?"

spike has even slowed down his
posting on his blog…

i was very curious to see what became of the viper…